American Queen will make long-awaited, daylong stop in Prairie du Chien

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By Correne Martin

The largest steamboat ever built, the grand American Queen will stop in Prairie du Chien on Wednesday, Aug. 12, as its passengers spend a full day touring the city’s historical attractions.

The Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Coordinator Patti Wacker have been working with Shore Excursions of America for the past two years to bring the American Queen to town. It’s been 20 years since it last stopped in Prairie du Chien.

The elegant steamboat will carry a potential 426 passengers, from lands as far away as California and Australia, up and down the Mississippi River from St. Louis to St. Paul. The paddlewheel boat will dock in Prairie du Chien at 8 a.m. and leave around 4 p.m. While here, the visitors will take group tours of the community and its most magnificent and memorable tourist destinations.

“Patti has been working very hard on this. She spent Wednesday giving tours of the community and starting the process of putting an itinerary together,” stated Bob Moses, chamber president and CEO.

According to the American Queen’s website (, the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America accommodates its passengers with Victorian charm, although it’s also filled with today’s modern amenities. Multiple specialty dining options are available, featuring the acclaimed cuisine of American Chef Regina Charboneau.

Further description of the American Queen states that “glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. While on board, [travelers] can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat’s library, or enjoy a sing-along in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap their toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river.”

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